Category Archives: Horticulture


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Fall Webworms

While driving around Fort Bend County, it doesn’t take long to notice the masses of white webbing in the canopy of many species of trees. These unsightly webs are built by the Fall Webworm, Hyphantria cunea. The small hairy white caterpillars feed in clusters within and close to their protective webbing. These, as are many regional pests, are cyclical in their populations. It indeed has been a rough year for them. Most likely because of our mild winter and overwintering populations flourishing. This, combined with a wet spring,… Read More →

Landscape Pest Alert – Aphids

The weather this year has brought on a range of atypical landscape pest outbreaks. Most recently, a Mexican White Oak branch was brought in to our office covered with small white dots. After a quick scope inspection of the lower side of the leaves, we spotted hundreds of very small yellow aphids. Aphids in the home landscape can vary in appearance and in the food they prefer. To view the many species of native aphids, review Bug Guide at Aphid populations rise and fall throughout the year,… Read More →

Citrus Canker Disease Update

What’s going on? Currently the Texas Department of Agriculture, working with the USDA, has issued a quarantine area in northeast Richmond, Texas to isolate a localized outbreak of Citrus Canker Disease. This factsheet is designed to answer common questions and provide action steps for those in need. What is it? Citrus Canker Disease is caused by a bacterial pathogen. It is a serious disease of all citrus cultivars and some citrus relatives. For more information, visit the link below. Where is it? The current quarantine area is… Read More →

The Zika Virus

by Lisa Rogers Fort Bend Master Gardener By now you have heard of the Zika virus that could potentially be a problem in the United States by the end of summer. A mosquito-transmitted virus identified in the Zika Forest of Uganda in 1947, it was known as a relatively harmless virus causing rashes, inflammation of the eyes and flu-like symptoms. In 2007 during an outbreak in the Pacific Islands, the Zika virus was associated with an increased incidence of Guillain-Barre syndrome—a neurological disease that can cause varying degrees… Read More →

The Walnut Caterpillar, Round 4

By Boone Holladay County Extension Agent-Horticulture As of early July, we are seeing the hatch of the second generation of Walnut Caterpillars feeding on pecan foliage. It is critical for tree health that we address these leaf feeders the best way we can. With the spring floods and now hot and dry conditions, trees are very prone to stress. Leaf loss right now would be devastating to the ongoing health of the trees. For quality control of these pests, you may have to turn to an insecticide product,… Read More →

Coral Drift Roses Survive Memorial Day Flood

By Peggy d’Hemecourt President & Earth-Kind Specialist, Fort Bend Master Gardeners As the saying goes, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”. Unless you’re talking about a plant, in which case you might say “…, the tough keep growing”. That’s what we gardeners hope for when we landscape with tough plants. We expect them to be heat and drought tolerant and resistant to insects and disease. But seldom do we expect tough plants to be flood survivors. That’s exactly what happened though, to many of the… Read More →

“Oh Honey, We’ve Got Bees!!” Swarm Season is Upon Us

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – Fort Bend County Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – Fort Bend County will again offer honeybee swarm traps to the community. For many years, the Extension Service has referred calls to beekeepers for help in dealing with honey bee problems. In cooperation with the Fort Bend Beekeepers Association, the Rosenberg Extension office can now provide a specially constructed trap to lure swarms of honey bees away from homes and structures. Honey bees are cavity nesters and the trap offers a desirable home… Read More →

If You haven’t Already Heard It Through the Grapevine…

By Boone Holladay, Fort Bend County Extension Agent—Horticulture There are a couple standards that Texans live by. First, everything is bigger in Texas. Second, if someone says that it can’t be done in Texas, well, we’ll not only prove them wrong, but we’ll do it bigger, better, bolder, and with a little Texas flare added for good measure. Now with that the stage has been set, let’s talk wine grapes! The viticulture industry in Texas has grown from a tiny niche in the 1980’s up to a big… Read More →

Recent Outbreak of Biting Flies

By John Gordy, Fort Bend County Extension Agent-AG-NR For the last couple of weeks there have been many local reports of and questions about biting “gnats”. Many of the reports indicate that the gnats are biting people during the day – particularly around the neck and head, and leaving persistently itchy swollen areas at the site of the bites. The actual culprits have been one or more species of black fly. Black fly species are small (5 mm or less) and have a characteristic “hump-back”, which is why… Read More →